David was finishing the taxes yesterday and so I took the kids on one of our grocery shopping expeditions to Pathmark. It was Sunday right after church (not for us, other people's church) and so it was a bit of a zoo.
And as usual, there were firemen. There are always firemen in Pathmark. If you missed my last shopping trip, which also has NYC firemen, go here. If not, keep reading...
The girls are in the shopping trolley and ready to go. Lucy is wearing a "crown" which, as you know, is an important accessory when shopping.
I wanted to wear my crown but it was at the cleaners. With my tiara and sash.
We make it through nearly the whole vegetable aisle in harmony. There is a loud burst of song right around the eggplants. Lucy regales the vegetable shoppers with "Itsy Bitsy Teeny Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini", one of my favorites, which seems to really offend this little old woman who is trying to wedge by us with her walker/shopping-cart-combo-mobile to get to the leeks and she gives us a snotty look, which I think is uncalled for, but Lucy thinks it's a sign of approval or something, and smiles and sings the "Itsy Bitsy" song even louder and with more gusto and doesn't stop until we're near the mangos.
This is the little old woman.
This is the little old woman in an itsy bitsy teeny weenie bikini.
When we get to the tomatoes, Lucy is fascinated with the plum tomatoes and their shape and wants her own bag.
This seems like a precocious thing except what she really wants to do is hang the bag over the side of the cart and say, "Help me! Help me! I'm falling!" in a tiny squeaky mouse voice and then, let the bag go falling to the ground and I have to bend over and pick it up only to have her do the exact same thing, like 5 minutes later.
By the time we got to the fish counter, the tomatoes have tragically vanished in a horrible mining accident. Their remains were never found.
Here is where I mess up. I start talking to Charmaine, who works behind the fish counter, about her new baby, her breastfeeding, her pumping, her sleep and feeding schedule and I forget for a moment that I actually have children, who are weirdly quiet and amusing themselves in the cart and so, while my back is turned, horrible crimes are being committed against the herbs.
Edie sets the herbs free, like a PETA volunteer in an animal testing facility.
And then throws them on the floor around the cart.
Someone should sing "Born Free" here.
I give the herbs to a 3 year old for safe keeping. What am I? Snorting glue?
I never actually make it home with the herbs.
I revert to an old winner - I dole out chunks of bread. This is not my idea, Edie clunks me on the head with the loaf until I get the hint.
I'm still trying to throw whatever groceries I think we need into the cart. I think quickly. I am a tribal warrior in Pathmark - sleek, fierce, cunning, one crazy eye ball on the leg of lamb, another hunting for the kielbasa. And all before the villagers can rise up against me.
I break bread with the hostiles in the dairy aisle.
I oversee the ceremonial hurling of the cottage cheese.
I try to pry the single whole fat plain yogurt out of the back of the dairy case while a villager regales us with a song on the didgeridoo.
Or a loaf of bread.
Ah...a day in the life of a tribal warrior.
By the time we get to aisle 12, we have a rather deep and philosophical discussion about cumin and what we use it for and then each of the girls wants to hold a bottle of their own cumin, which means we now have enough cumin in the house to make Mexican food for a small Latin American country.
And then for some reason, we are all so fascinated with the many bottles of spices, we feel we cannot leave and the girls stare at the shelf as if they were playing a Princess movie back there and it takes us 15 minutes just to get out of this aisle.
By leaving, I upset the delicate balance of the universe. And Edie blows a gasket.
And then we're on the boob. And sadly, I'm taking a picture of my boob in a supermarket.
And once we're on the boob, there really is no getting off (because my breasts are that good) and so I shop with Lucy attached to my nipple for nearly the duration of the trip.
Lucy is amazed and experiences an epiphany when she learns that pasta can come in the shape of a wheel.
Lucy and I ponder whether we should buy pigs feet.
And then, out of thin air, we run into a group a firemen.
And here's the thing about New York City firemen. They love to get their picture taken. And they love to buy beans and pasta. It's like the only aisle they ever go in.
Check out the guy on the right with his hands in his fire pants. He has modeled before, hasn't he?
Picking our nose in the check out. We're keepin' it real.
And Edie is still on the boob.
Okay, I'm way prettier than this picture. This is what I usually look like.
That's right. I look a lot like Heidi Klum.
Let's just go with that.
Back to shopping...
The check out, usually a nerve-testing gauntlet of malcontent, went pretty well this trip because Lucy decided the rice was like a cuddly doll.
And she spent a lot of the time hugging it and comforting it like it was her crying baby, which kept her amused. And Edie, high on breast milk, all basking in the after-glow, decides to play in the shopping cart.
I put my breast back in my shirt. And load the $220 of groceries into the trolley.
"I've been waiting for you, Obi-Wan. We meet again, at last. The circle is now complete. When I left you, I was but the learner; now *I* am the master."
I have no idea why I just went to the trouble to find this quote but now that I spent 12 minutes on it, I'm keeping it in here.
We have a small issue with the sticker before we leave - Lucy wants to take it off because it's ripped. It's ripped, of course, because she was playing with it and ripped it, but we can't talk about that because it's like entering the 5th circle of hell to explain that kind of thing to a 3 year old. So we have to stop and ask for a new one and put it on just so, in the exact right place before we can take it outdoors.
And this takes like ten minutes, which is fine because where the hell do I have to go anyway?
Lucy carries the bag of rice out of the store.
And then Lucy drops the bag in the middle of the floor, stopping the person behind us from moving her cart forward and sprints to the gum ball machines, like her underpants are on fire, leaving me to bend over and grab the rice off the floor, while Edie is breastfeeding in my arms, apologizing to the person who was halted by the rice barricade and giving the security guy the evil eye for giving me the evil eye because we have created a traffic jam coming into and out of the store.
This is the security guy...
And this is the face he made.
And then after I give the "No gum because it has sugar" speech and Lucy gives me the "I love sugar in my gum" speech, we agree to disagree and she gets busy with another activity.
She insists on holding the door open for incoming shoppers, even though the doors are electronic and so people walking out look at her like, "Why the hell is that kid standing in the door getting in my way?" and apparently they think she is a street orphan busking for change.
But all she gets is a few pats on the head. Bummer.
And then, we walk to our house a block away for like the next 45 minutes.